Cyclists: How to Be Safe Riding on the Road
As bike riding has picked up across Texas and across the nation, accidents have also risen. In 2013, 743 people in the United States were killed in accidents with an automobile. However, there are many ways cyclists can help reduce the risk of an accident with an automobile.
Be Visible to Automobiles
The most important thing to consider is your visibility to cars on the road. While you may see them, they may not be able to see you. Wear reflective clothing and put reflectors and lights on your bike, especially when it’s dark. You can even purchase lights that attach to your helmet, increasing your visibility at night to catch a driver’s attention. It is actually Texas state law that bicycles must have a white light on the front of the bicycle and a red light or reflector on the back. Because it’s so difficult to see cyclists coming, it’s crucial that you’re constantly aware of your surroundings. Much like driving a car, you can better spot a potential accident and avoid it.
It is so important to wear a helmet. Not only can you improve your visibility to other drivers by attaching a helmet light, you greatly reduce the risk of sustaining a head injury in an accident.
Be sure to keep your phone and identification with you at all times, to ensure that if an accident does occur, you have the resources to contact the police and your loved ones.
Obey the Law
In Texas, cyclists have the same rights and the same duties as automobiles. This means that cyclists are required by law to stop at stop signs, stop at red lights, and obey all other rules of the road. Automobiles are required to yield to cyclists in turning lanes. However, as discussed earlier, cyclists are hard to see from behind in an automobile. Be aware of your surroundings so that you have ample time to react. Also, make sure to ride in the same direction as the traffic. Never ride going against the flow of traffic, especially when corners and turns could keep you hidden. When approaching an intersection, ride to the inside part of the bike lane, allowing vehicles time to see you before they turn. Do not, under any circumstances, ride through a red light; a driver could fail to see you and pull out onto the road.
The best practice for cyclists is to signal to vehicles and other cyclists. Communicating your intentions makes drivers aware of the direction you are going and if they have to adjust their speed to accommodate your turns.
Be smart when riding a bike. Because vehicles can fail to see cyclists, it is crucial that you are aware of your surroundings and react appropriately, to keep you and the driver safe. Even if you have to slow down, it’s worth taking the extra caution to make sure you get home safely.
If you’ve been hit or collided with a vehicle while riding your bike and sustained injuries, contact Colley & Colley law firm in Tyler, Texas for a free consultation. We provide the best legal care in East Texas for bicycle accidents.